Swedish metal band Astral Doors were formed in 2002 in the spirit of pioneering heavy metal and hard rock acts like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Deep Purple. Founding members were drummer Johan Lindstedt, guitarist Joachim Nordlund, and singer Nils Patrik Johansson, whose flight-of-fantasy vocals often garnered comparisons to legendary metal frontman Ronnie James Dio. Joined by bassist Martin Haglund and organist Jocke Roberg, Astral Doors quickly rose to acclaim, with their new songs reminiscent of the best of '70s and early-'80s metal. Their debut album, Of the Son and the Father, was released in 2003 and the band toured often, faring well on the festival circuit. By this time Haglund had moved to the role of second guitarist and Mika Itäranta came in to take over on bass. The band honed its cosmic metal sound with constant touring and a string of inspired recordings, including second album Evil Is Forever in 2005, Astralism in 2006, New Revelation in 2007, and the increasingly power metal sound of Requiem of Time in 2010. Shortly after the release of Requiem of Time, both Haglund and Itäranta left the band to focus on family life. New bassist Ulf Lagerström joined the band but no second guitarist took Haglund's place, leaving more room for Roberg's organ to fill the songs. The newly configured lineup offered up sixth album Jerusalem in 2011. In 2014 additional guitarist Mats Gesar joined the band, and amid their regular touring and festival appearances, Astral Doors set to work on material for a new album. Their seventh album, Black Eyed Children, a riff-heavy return to their more melodic early metal sound, arrived in the spring of 2017.